Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies - made dough December 19, 2015 from Mom on Timeout
I have a whole host of cookie recipes to post and I’m trying to get them up before the new year when everyone goes on a diet and stops baking. Oh wait, is that just me? In any case, remember how I said I don’t usually try out new recipes during the holiday season because I can’t afford to have baking failures with all the baked gifts I need to make? And also remember how I was cutting back on baking? Well, those two mantras collided the weekend before Christmas.
It’s true that I’ve cut back drastically on baking in recent months. A year ago I was having a baking marathon every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas – I baked for dessert parties, coworkers, get togethers with friends, church folks, care packages and so on. By the time Christmas rolled around, I was ready to pick up a cake from my favorite bakery and call it Christmas dessert because I was so burned out on baking.
This year is a little different. For one thing, I didn’t host a dessert party this year so no day off from work to bake all day. I was down with a cold for the first half of December so I skipped out on a lot of parties and get togethers. The days went by too fast for me to catch all of my coworkers before they left for year-end holidays. Oops. But I did have enough need for baked goods gifts to do one marathon baking session this past weekend. And because I hadn’t really been baking much, I decided to take a risk and explore all new recipes for them.
Of course, it was a very calculated risk since I wasn’t stupid and knew there still wasn’t a lot of margin for error in baking failures. So I went with recipes that I could tell at a glance and from the pictures on their original blog posts that they had a high likelihood of turning out. And I stayed with some traditional flavors since now was not the time to do a lot of risky experiments.
Case in point, the  classic white chocolate and macadamia combination for these cookies. The main difference from some of the other recipes I’ve tried was the browned butter element. But browned butter is an almost no-fail option when it comes to cookies. Seriously. I also chose this recipe because it would use up the last of my macadamia nuts in the freezer and the last bag of white chocolate chips in my pantry. If I was going on baking hiatus in January, it was best to clear out my remaining baking ingredients. This turned out to be a good choice as I liked this recipe. It’s a classic combination, the cookies didn’t spread too much and I love the brown sugar overtones of the cookie that paired so well with the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts.  Yum.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally as butter foams then starts browning. When you can smell the nutty aroma and see the browned particles, it's done. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together. Add vanilla extract and eggs, mixing until combined.
  3. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda in medium bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing until just combined,
  4. Fold in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Portion into golf-ball-size dough balls, cover, and chill or freeze for several hours until firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and evenly space out the frozen dough balls.
  6. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and middles no longer look raw. Let sit on hot cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

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